Hate crime vigil for International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia

Publish Date: 15/05/2014

A unique vigil to remember victims of hate crime will be held in Manchester on Saturday 17th May to mark International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), including guest speaker Sylvia Lancaster.

The Lesbian & Gay Foundation (The LGF) are hosting the vigil in Sackville Gardens with guest speakers from the local community, who will talk about their own experiences of hate crime, how it has affected their lives and their communities.

This year, The LGF are pleased to welcome Sylvia Lancaster from the Sophie Lancaster Foundation to speak at the Vigil. Sylvia, who sadly lost her daughter Sophie after she was brutally attacked, set up the charity to create a lasting legacy to her daughter. It is important to remember that hate crime can and does affect everyone and we are working hard to encourage people to report all incidents of hate crime.

Grahame Robertson, Resource & Information Manager at The Lesbian & Gay Foundation, said: “Last year's Hate Crime Vigil demonstrated just how much the local LGB&T community are affected by hate crime. This year we want to reiterate our support for victims of hate crime, and to encourage everyone to report hate crime whether they are a witness or a victim. We'd encourage everyone who can to come along this Saturday at 5pm, to pay their respects and show that hate – in whatever form – is unacceptable.”

The LGF’s Chief Executive Paul Martin OBE will lead a one minute silence for people to reflect and pay their respects. Also speaking at the event will be Jen Yockney from Biphoria, Prossy Kakooza, Rev. Hayley Matthews and Dawn Sims from Transforum.

Attendees at the vigil will be invited to place tributes of flowers and candles on the Beacon of Hope, which is a memorial to those people who have lost their lives to HIV related illnesses and a symbol of solidarity for people living with HIV today.

A recent report launched by The LGF found that homophobic and biphobic hate crime is a common experience among the lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) community, yet reporting of it is low. Nearly half of LGB people living in Manchester have experienced hate crime, but 62% of them didn’t report it. Substantial evidence shows that experience of hate crime and an increased fear of becoming a victim of crime has a significantly negative impact on LGB people’s lives.

In response to this, The LGF are launching a new hate crime reporting web-app on 17th May to coincide with IDAHOBIT – this will allow people to report hate crime incidents quickly and anonymously if needed. The LGF are actively working with the community, businesses and partner organisations to encourage people to report hate crime.

The vigil will take place on Saturday 17th May 2014 from 5pm at Sackville Gardens in the Village, Manchester. Also everyone is welcome to join us after the vigil for a complimentary glass of wine at Polari, 28 Canal Street, Manchester, M1 3EZ. Find out more by visiting: www.lgf.org.uk/IDAHOBIT